Utilitarian sinks of wash day caves have given way to models that no longer need to be hidden.
Q: I’m moving our laundry station from the basement and building a laundry room in the area that used to be an open mudroom. I have water and drains close by for the plumbing. My question has to do with the new laundry sink. Since this room is going to be in the living area, I want to make it fancy with built-in countertops. Can you give me any ideas on what type of laundry sink I should use?
A: Living-space laundry rooms are quickly becoming the new family working areas for many homes. They are now the place to go for working on school projects or taking care of pet needs in addition to washing and folding laundry.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have the extra room to move the laundry area out of the basement, but if you have the space, the investment can be well worth your time and money.
In today’s plumbing market you have some great choices for laundry sinks. For countertop installation, I have seen some nice cast-iron drop-in-style laundry sinks. These sinks are a little deeper than normal to give you additional washing room. Plus, the cast-iron construction resists scratching, chipping and staining, and some nice custom options are available.
Spray-head faucets, soaking pans and drying racks are just a few accessories that can help turn a basic laundry sink into the room’s command center.
Be careful on the accessories, though. Remember that the best laundry sink will do the job without taking your wallet through the wringer.
Utility sinks go upscale
Q: We have a finished utility room on our first floor between the garage and a small bathroom. The room has the water heater in a corner and we have been using the rest for storage. I finally cleaned out and organized this room and rediscovered how valuable this space is. Now I would like to add a sink to this area. Can this be done, and what type of sink would be a good choice?
A: Good job in cleaning out that area. Finished home utility rooms have become very popular. It makes perfect sense to install a utility sink. However, I’m not talking about the commercial mop-type sink that you may see in an office building. I would recommend an upscale residential utility sink. These sinks combine the larger work area needed for things like cleaning, gardening and laundry, but they also are designed to add beauty and color to a space.
Because of the attractive style, upscale utility sinks can be used in other places such as finished laundry rooms and mudrooms and even kitchens. As for installation, since your water heater is in the room and a bathroom is next door, water and drain lines should be close by. But get an estimate from your plumber before you start the job.
Bottom line: An upscale residential utility sink can really add a big splash of class to a newly reclaimed room.
Master plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows and a LEED green associate.